Delegates to CUPE’s Western Municipal Conference took an in-depth look at new tools and strategies to fight contracting out of public services.

Bringing public services back in house was the focus of a half-day workshop led by CUPE researcher Jordana Feist and communications representative Kathryn Davies.

The session drew on new resources for CUPE members, including CUPE BC’s newly-updated guide, Bringing our work back home: A guide to standing up for public services. This toolkit outlines the steps a local can take to reverse privatization – and highlights longer-term strategies to prevent work being contracted out.

The workshop took delegates through the A to Z of contracting in, including:

  • tracking contracted-out services
  • developing a winning campaign
  • monitoring local government
  • working with elected representatives between, and during, elections
  • developing strong collective agreement language
  • building community alliances

Delegates also looked at the stories told in Back in House: Why local governments are bringing services home. This 2016 Columbia Institute report profiles the growing global trend to contract in, also known as remunicipalization. More than half of the contracting in examples the report profiles are Western Canadian examples, many of them CUPE workplaces.

CUPE’s Western Municipal Conference was held in Canmore, Alberta.